Immagini della pagina
PDF
ePub

almost invariably adopted by him. No other document of either the ancient or modern world would be treated in the* same way."—P. 217.

Curious objections by the score are satisfactorily answered, and apparent discrepancies harmonized, until the ground is completely cleared of obstacles to the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch. At last he opens the books of the Pentateuch, and shows that they claim to have been written by Moses, while no rival author has ever arisen to dispute the claim. Finally, to place the divine seal upon these old books, he turns to Jesus Christ and his apostles for their testimony:

Our Saviour and his apostles every-where assume the Mosaic authorship and the divine authority of the Pentateuch. Our Saviour, m his controversy with the Jews, says: "For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?" How absurd this language would be, on the theory that the Pentateuch was written ages after Moses—If you do not believe in a work made up of traditions and myths in a late age and attributed to Moses, how can ye believe in me?—aud this language from Him who is the truth itself!

In various passages Christ speaks also of Moses as if he was the author of the Pentateuch: "Have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him saying, I am the God of Abraham," etc. Mark xii, 26. "If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead." Luke xvi, 31. "These are the words which I spake unto you while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses" etc. Luke xxi v, 44. "Did not Moses give you the law fn John vii, 19.

The Apostle Peter, on the day of Pentecost, says: "For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A Prophet shall the Lord your. God raise up uuto you of your brethren, like unto me," etc. Acts iii, 22.

The Apostle Paul, in his address to Agrippa, observes in respect to his teaching: "Saying nunc other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come." Acts xxvi, 22. Ami m Acts xxviii, 23, St. Paul expounded " both out of the law of Moses and out of the prophets." "For Moses describeth (Greek, writes) the righteousness which is of the law, that, the man which doeth these things shall live by them." Rom. x, 5. This refers to Lev. xviii, 5, which St. Paul here declares that Moses wrote. "For even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart." 2 Cor. iii, 15.—Pp. 224, 225.

The inspiration of the Pentateuch is left to be inferred from its contents. If it be a trustworthy history of the events which it records, there is no escaping the conclusion that Moses was a divinely inspired man. Men always have believed and will believe to the end of time that God is on the side.of truth. Whenever, therefore, they behold God's omniscience, cropping out in prophecy or his omnipotence laid bare in miracles, they will believe in the truth of the man or the message in attestation of which the prophecy was uttered or the miracle performed. There could have been no deception in the miracles performed during the exodus. It was not a matter of faith but of positive knowledge with the Jews that the Red Sea parted at Moses' command. There could have been no mistake about the manna which fell, and on which they were fed. They knew whether the waters gushed forth from the rock when Moses smote it, or not; and they knew absolutely whether their clothing waxed not old throughout all their jonrneyings. There could have been no mistake about these and similar miracles; and the Jews would not lvave accepted as true the Pentatench which contained these accounts, nor bowed obedience to its laws, had these miracles not occurred in their knowledge. But admit these miraculous interpositions of divine power through Moses, and at once he becomes the accredited agent and mouth-piece of God.

The authenticity and inspiration of the books of Moses, like the Siamese twins, are vitally united, and are, therefore, inseparable. If the books are not trustworthy histories of the events which they record, of course they are not divinely inspired. Bnt if, on the other hand, we accept their statement of facts as true, it follows irresistibly that God breathed his own wisdom into their author, and clothed him at times with almighty power. The nature of the history determines the inspiration of the author. But the narrative of events in the Pentateuch cannot be rejected as authentic history according to any rule of criticism which would not destroy belief in all ancient history. The miraculous events, upon which the proof of Moses' inspiration rests, and about which there could have been no deception, have been attested by every Jewish writer from Moses down to the close of the sacred canon—they have been celebrated by the Jews in sacred songs, and commemorated by religions institutions and festivals through all the ages which have intervened since the events are related to have occurred.

Fourth Series, Vol. XXXIL—6

The country over which Moses and Israel passed, in their flight from Egypt, bears names to the present day which are the echo of the miraculous events of the Exodus, and,the atmosphere of Egypt and Arabia is still full of traditions respecting these events. With all these evidences corroborating the Mosaic record, it is not possible rationally to withhold assent to the authenticity of the Pentateuch. And since its authenticity establishes miracles and prophecy, the inspiration of Moses follows inevitably.

It is too late to object to the possibility of miracles and prophecy when the one has been performed and the other fulfilled before our eyes. De Wette saw and acknowledged that the Mosaic narrative enfolds the miraculous like a garment, He says: "If it is at least doubtful to the thinking intellect that such miracles really occurred, the question arises whether they did not so appear to the eye-witnesses and participants of the history; or were,supposed by the reporters to have occurred in a natural way, but set forth in a poetic-miraculous light? But this must be denied as soon as the narratives are carefully considered. For there is wholly wanting in them that credulous poetic frame of mind which would contain the key to the miraculous." *

Bishop Colenso's general objection to miracles is a weak thing to dispute the power of Moses' rod. It is thus stated and annihilated by oar author, (pages.218, 219:)—

. "The order," says he, "of this wondrnus universe, so manifold, Ko diverse, yet all tending to unity, to one great central Cause, a miracle, if really witnessed, would be like a jarring discord in the midst of a mighty music—not a sign of the master-musician's presence, but a token that tor once he had failed to subdue the rebellious elements—would, in short, be simply frightful."f What shall we say to a miracle's being "a jarring discord in the midst of a mighty music?" Is this world nothing but harmonious music? What shall we say of earthquakes burying whole cities with thousands of human beings; of inundations laying waste vast tracts and destroying human life; of famines, pestilences, tornadcesj sweeping away houses, and sending ships with their preei Mis freight beneath the wav«s of the deep? Is all this music in the ears and harmony to the eyvs of Colenso? To these discordant and destructive forces add the passions of men, exhibited in hon-i

* Schrader's De Wette's "Einloitung," p. 257.
\ " Lectures on the Pentateuch," etc., p. 36S>.

ble wars and devastations. In the midst of such a world as this, is an extraordinary display of omnipotent power in punishing the wicked and delivering the good—the manifestation of the divine power and Godhead, the revelation of Jehovah to man, a great light in the midst of moral darkness—is all this nothing but a jarring discord? In the midst of the wrongs and the darkness of tho world, who has not. felt, as did Isaiah, and prayed, " O that thou wouldcst rend the heavens, that thou wbuldest come down?"

The bed rock of the Bible has thus been readied; and, having found the Pentateuch to be the WORD of Gon, it is comparatively easy to determine, approximately, the age, genuineness and inspiration of the remaining books of the Old Testament.

To undertake to give an adequate idea of our author's treatment of these several books would be to transcribe a large part of his work. Suffice it to say, that the same thorough scholarship and careful research are brought to bear upon every portion of the Old Testament; and if in every case we do not agree with the conclusions of his logic, we cannot help being edified and profited by his learning.

His Introduction to the New Testament, which occupies the latter part of his work, docs for the four Gospels what the course of investigation pursned in the case of the Pentateuch did for the Books of Moses. His examination of the authorities bearing npon the authenticity of the Gospels is thorough and exhaustive, and his accumulation of facts for the defense of the Gospels leaves nothing to be desired. But as the treatment of the New Testament is similar to the course pursued with the Old, it does not fall within the scope of this article to enter further into its discussion.

That the book is free from errors is not claimed, nor is it hoped that all the conclusions reached by the author will be accepted by orthodox Christians; but it contains so much that is rare and valuable that we can easily afford to overlook its defects. Dr. Harman is a scholar rather than a logician. The treasury of learning which he has given us in this volume is almost faultless. The mistakes are nearly all in the conclusions which he draws from indisputable premises. Without indorsing every thing contained in the book, we regard the volume, as a whole, as a grand contribution to sacred literature, and as an armory of truth from which the weapons of our warfare will be taken for a generation to come.

Art. V.—ECHOES FROM AFRICA.

The American Missionary. December, 1878; January and February, 1879. American Missionary Association. New Yotk.

The Three Despised Races in the United Slates. An Address by Joseph Cook. American Missionary Association. New York. 1878.

"The fate of the negro," it has been said, "is the romance of our age." The events which have transpired in his history since the great emancipation in the United States, and which are now transpiring, are in the highest degree romantic. There will always gather around the history of the race a pathetic interest, which must ever kindle the imagination, touch the heart, and awaken the sympathies of all in whom there is a spark of humanity.

The intelligence we have just received from America of large migrations of negroes from the Southern to the Western States is full of melancholy and suggestive interest. To reflecting minds acquainted with the history of Southern society during the last fifty years these events are not surprising. Retributive justice may linger, but it is sure. A prosperity built up on the wrongs of a race, by the unrequited labor of a whole people, ought not to have been expected to be permanent. In 1858 the chivalry of Louisiana passed a law forbidding free blacks to come in; now they would pass a law forbidding them to go out.

"Many years ago," we are informed by a writer of Southern birth,

"an artist of Philadelphia was engaged by the State of South Carolina to paint some national emblematic picture for her Statehouse. Jefferson Davis was requested to act with the South Carolina Committee at Washington in criticising the studies for this work. The most creditable sketch presented was a design representing the North by various mechanical implements; the West by a prairie and plow; while the South was represented by various things, the center-piece, however, being a cotton-bale with a negro upon it fast asleep. When Mr. Davis saw it, he said, 'Gentlemen, this will never do; what will become of the South when the negro wakes up ?'"

The discussions which the reconstruction laws have made possible in the South, the circulation of newspapers, the education of negro youth as preachers and teachers, have roused

« IndietroContinua »